The Avalanche, however, haven’t experienced much success lately against the Western Conference’s worst club - especially at home.
Colorado takes on an Edmonton team trying to avoid a season-high eighth straight defeat and season-worst sixth consecutive road loss Monday night.
Colorado (27-15-6) has moved atop the tightly bunched Northwest Division with a pair of shootout victories and Saturday’s 3-1 win over Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey.
“There’s no question (Anderson is) a calming influence,” said Avalanche coach Joe Sacco, whose team opened a five-game homestand. “There is that factor if you do make a mistake, knowing you have Andy back there it’s more comforting.”
Earlier that day, another poor goaltending effort sent the Oilers (16-26-5) to yet another loss, 4-2 against San Jose. Devan Dubnyk(notes) allowed four goals in the first two periods and dropped to 0-4-0 for his career.
“It’s not good for our goaltenders to have easily missed plays there,” coach Pat Quinn said. “It hurts the concentration. It hurts confidence, and it builds fear. And if you play with a little bit of fear you are really in trouble.”
Edmonton has allowed at least three goals in six straight games and at least four on 10 occasions during a 1-13-1 stretch. The Oilers are on the verge of their longest overall losing streak and longest on the road in three seasons.
Edmonton last dropped eight straight during a 12-game skid from Feb. 25-March 21, 2007, and lost nine in a row away from home that same season from Feb. 25-April 5.
The Oilers are also struggling at the other end of the ice, having scored two goals or fewer in 11 of 15 games. They may need to be much better to keep the Avalanche from snapping a three-game home losing streak in the series.
Edmonton outscored Colorado 16-6 during those three wins and 11-7 in taking the last two matchups this season. The Oilers are 2-1-0 versus the Avs in 2008-09 and 4-1-1 in the last six meetings.
Anderson, likely start to Monday, won 3-0 at Rexall Place on Oct. 27, but gave up a season-worst five goals in a 5-3 home loss to the Oilers on Nov. 8. He has allowed four goals or more four times in seven career meetings, but has also recorded two of his 10 shutouts versus Edmonton.
After giving Dubnyk consecutive starts, the Oilers could turn to Jeff Deslauriers, who allowed at least four goals in each of his past three starts. Deslauriers has a 3.66 goals-against average over his last 11 games, but has posted a 2.51 GAA on the road this season.
Deslauriers won his only career start against Colorado on Nov. 18 as the Oilers rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 6-4 victory in the teams’ most recent matchup.